Magnetic Cows?

I learned this week that cows, and some deer, have a strong tendency to align themselves along a north-south axis.  (I learned this from the xkcd “What If?” topic this week, which had to do with how much energy a cow could gain if she photosynthesized rather than ate grass.)  This appears to be magnetically determined, for they follow magnetic rather than geographic north.  Basically, if most of the cows in a field are grazing, they tend to face the same direction.  I’d always thought this was to do with the wind direction, but apparently it’s more likely to be directional.

Now I must include this in a story at some point.  Wouldn’t that be a hilarious way of determining direction if you’re lost?  Nobody would believe you it were, say, an overcast day . . . oh, the possibilities . . .


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